MANILA (UPDATE) – A candidate running for mayor in Baganga, Davao Oriental was allegedly abducted by the New People's Army (NPA) for failing to pay “permit-to-campaign” fees.
The candidate, Ronnie Osnan, went missing during a campaign sortie in Barangay Kampawan at around 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
Davao Oriental provincial director Sr. Supt. Jose Carumba said Osnan was reportedly pulled out from the campaign by his childhood friend but did not return.
His camp was later informed that Osnan is already in the custody of the rebels.
Two supporters of Osnan, Gaspar Orfanil and Pastor Manuel Tizon, were also abducted, but Tizon was released at around 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Police said negotiations for Osnan and Orfanil’s release are ongoing. They said they cannot release further details on the matter.
Osnan is an independent candidate running in the May midterm elections. -- Report from May May Benedicto, dzMM; Vina Araneta, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao